Shared experience is the origin of art and culture. By creating rituals and occasions that elevate our sense of connection, human beings have successfully rallied around a common goal to achieve bigger-than-life results. At Forge Collective, we have produced numerous events and projects that brought people from different social groups together to form meaningful connections. As we head into the world after the lengthy quarantine, shared experiences will be more valuable than ever.
Most of us have experienced the heightened emotions of unity and happiness when they shared special moments with other people—at sports events, religious ceremonies, political rallies, theater performances, concerts. It could also happen at a much more personal scale, like sharing good meals or watching a favorite movie together.
When the conditions are right, the power of shared experience could motivate people beyond what they would do individually. It makes people dedicate months of rehearsal for a few nights of performance. It makes people spend a lot of money to buy tickets. It makes people volunteer hours and hours of time to support a candidate. It even ignites revolutions.
Many entities know this, and compete for our motivation by using ever more dramatic and hyper techniques. Fortunately, there are many signs that people are searching for slower, deeper, and more fulfilling connections, especially in light of the pandemic.
Forge Collective produces events and projects that nurture such meaningful and empowering connections, with creators from the vast pool of our community as our guides and leaders.
Our projects vary from a one-off event like an interactive performance to long-term projects like video and audio story-shares that address contentious issues and encourage honest communication. Our past projects include:
- Yankeetown Pond Project (Community participatory project re-designed after a dispute with a resident and as a result, achieved higher success)
- Catskill Waters (Public outreach project in partnership with local stream programs with grants from NYC Dept of Environmental Protection in NYC watersheds in the Catskills)
- Old Glenford Church Autumn Banquet (Fundraiser as a community art event)
- Meat Me in Woodstock (Video production directed by a 6th grader with 40+ extras)